Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Rift: the PvP Purifier

An interesting week in the blogosphere with a number of WoW blogs getting very antsy about Rift. The game must be doing something right!

Today I'd like to talk about one of the most fun Souls to play in pvp if you're into denial. Not De Nile, which is much wetter than Purifiers like it, but denial, frustrating people.

As a Purifier you'll be really good but in a non-obvious way. You won't be top on Healing Done or any other warfront stats. This is because a lot of your healing is actually shielding which the meter doesn't record. Interestingly in EQ2 where shielding is recorded routinely by combat parsers the shielding healers are considered by far the strongest and routinely "win" the meters.

Let's look first then at shielding mechanics and why it's such a powerful mechanism, in fact clearly the best mechanism.

Your friend has 1000 life. You shield him for 500. He gets hit for 1400 and lives, left on 100 life.

A Sentinel's friend has 1000 life. He gets hit for 1400 and dies. The Sentinel is poised to cast his big 1000 point heal but it's too late.

A Warden's friend has 1000 life. He gets hit for 700. The Warden casts a heal over time that will heal 100 per second for the next 12 seconds. He gets hit again for 700 and dies, the hot having ticked just once.

You see, this is why those other guys do better on the meters. They need to be powered up because their healing style is innately weaker for single target healing.

Behind every hero there's someone who knows a lot about shields.

Also those healers do AOE healing. Now AOE healing is good but you need both and EVERYONE can do AOE healing while no one else can single target heal as well as a Purifier.

Consider this healing:
6 people lose 20% of their life, one of them is the Fang Carrier who loses an additional 50% of his life because he's being focused. A Sentinel heals everyone for 20%. A Purifier gets the Fang Carrier up the remaining 50%.

Healing done: Sentinel 20% of people's life * 6 = 120% of a standard player's life
Purifier 50% of a standard player's life.

Now the meter will tell you that in that circumstance the Sentinel is better than twice as good a healer as the Purifier. However with 2 Sentinels instead of a Sentinel and a Purifier you would have lost the Fang.

Now actually I think Purifier healing is balanced a little too high. I'm usually about 60% of a good aoe healer. I suspect that if shields were included on the meters I'd be about even with those guys. That's too strong given all the other Purifier strengths.

Some other things are good about shields:

- they can be pre-cast.

- they augment a player's life total as does Searing Transfusion. This really frustrates the opposition's capacity to burst a player down.

- they are not reduced by healing reduction abilities (eg by Champions).

- damage done to a shielded player does not interrupt picking up the Fang or Stone.

- Shields are reported to prevent Rogue incapacitates.

Next, a comment on pug warfront player populations. There are a LOT of AOE healers. Sentinels, Bards, Wardens and Chloromancers are all better at AOE healing than at single target healing. Purifiers are the only single target healer and not many people play them.

Now if you were the only healer on the team it might be better if you were an AOE healer simply to get the numbers out. But tbh if you're the only healer in a pug you've likely lost anyway so no point building a character to mitigate losses. The Purifier complements the typical Warfront pug which has a couple of AOE healers already much better than another AOE healer would.

The playstyle

Never stop moving!


Restorative Flame, the Purifier's main pve healing spell is useless in pvp. As a pvp healer you have two modes: static and mobile. Static healers are the ones the enemy Warriors take note of and kill.

The Purifier is excellent at mobile healing.

Make these macros:

Heal Other
#show Healing Breath
use [name of trinket, if activated]
cast Healing Breath (if you took Sentinel as a secondary Soul)
cast Ward of the Ancestors
cast Caregiver's Blessing
cast Searing Transfusion
cast Flashover
cast Sterilize
cast Fiery Blessing
cast Rite of the Ancestors
cast Healing Flare

Heal Self

#show Healing Breath
use [name of trinket, if activated]
cast Healing Breath (if you took Sentinel as a secondary Soul)
cast Shield of the Ancestors
cast Healing Blessing
cast Searing Transfusion
cast Flashover
cast Sterilize
cast Fiery Blessing
cast Rite of the Ancestors
cast Healing Flare

You just run around casting your macro on the guy they are trying to kill. Now healing flare is, admittedly, a bit of a poxy heal but you're firing off so many cooldowns that the overall effect is really powerful. Sterilize is in there because it only works if there's something to decurse and you nearly always want to decurse when you can (think Saboteurs). I didn't put Cauterize in because it only removes one effect but Sterilize gets the whole lot which makes it wonderful. I don't always notice when I'm being heavily dotted up. A better player than me would have it outside the macro and do it manually.

I also like to make a hotbar, not for the purpose of pressing any keys but just to line up all those spells on so I can look at my macro list hotbar and see at a glance what's ready. I may not want to go deep into the macro to burn up the long duration cooldowns but it's always worth casting Healing Breath.

In static situations where your target isn't moving much and no one is targeting you you can just spam Healing Flame, adding Healing Breath into the mix when available. I know I said keep moving but sometimes you know you're safe and this is better mana efficiency if you can get away with it.

You can macro it:

Standing still healing
#show Healing Breath
cast Healing Breath
cast Healing Flame

If things are really static then you can use Restorative Flame, especially if you are following a Blessing of the Flame or Enflamed Rejuvenation proc.

Don't be too static at any time - you always want to keep your teammates between you and your opponents. You are a long range healer who can use a full healing rotation without ever stopping. Always be moving somewhere better than where you currently are unless you're healing people up after destroying a mob of them. Ideally you want to have moved to a position that is unattractive to them before you notice you're being hit.

You may find it helps to hum the Benny Hill music to yourself while you play.

The spec

A couple of notes:
- Surging Flames is really good, try to get this onto the person you're likely to be healing heavily (eg Fang Carrier)
- Flame Ward is pants. Even if it weren't conditional 2 talent points for 6% armour isn't very good and as it stands it won't be up all the time anyway. Mobility is your defence, not tanking. 2 more points of being better at healing will usually beat this talent.
- Latent Blaze can be cast once every 45 seconds, just keep finding new targets who don't already have it or its debuff.
- the Templar soul adds more to your survivability than extra healing power from Sentinel talents.

The spec at 18

The spec at 28

The spec at 38

The spec at 48

Can I use this in dungeons?

No, go read this excellent guide at RiftClerics.net.


  1. Great guide, I have been using this whilst leveling my third Cleric and its so good.

    A point worth mentioning is Purifiers ability to shield themselves and others to take flags without getting interrupted.

    Do you mind if I link your website and post in my blog?:



  2. Link away, glad it's useful.